Artful insemination

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Kathleen Spicer’s polychrome woodcarvings remind me a bit of Syd Carpenter’s biomorphic work in clay, but Spicer’s subject is intrinsically about the wood itself, about plants and generation and not so much about the human condition. The show is about to be over–like tomorrow. Pick of the show is “Swimmer” (shown here) its blue and brown reflecting the wood grain of a thick, bent tree branch, the delicate petals at one end a surprising contrast. Many of the pieces, although beautifully painted, seemed clunky and not as well thought out. But “Naval Bean Sweet Pea,” which harks back to some of Spicer’s earlier work, is a charmer, ironically for the opposite reason that “Swimmer” succeeds. A poem to regeneration that made me think of a fish as well as a pea pod, and also of wari (that game with stones or beans in holes carved into a board), the piece’s material (wood) plays second fiddle to the form and color and pattern. At Sande Webster Gallery.

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